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Old 12-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
Slokia

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This will probably become a FAQ so I thought I would help get it started by listing some of the free programs that I like to use for 3D Modeling and Texturing.

3D Modeling:

Sculptris  - http://www.pixologic.com/sculptris/  -

Sculptris is amazing, fun and easy to use.  If you have ever worked with clay modeling in real life then you will love this program.  The poly count can get a little high but you can always export to Blender to reduce them later.  Another nice feature is the ability to paint your models and export all the texture maps you need.  How well these will work for here I haven't tried yet but with a bit of modification they should be fine.

Makehuman - http://www.makehuman.org/ -

This is a very fun and somewhat experimental, open-source project designed to ease the workflow of creating humanoids.  It may need some optimization in Blender or whatever.  I usually export and then import into Zbrush which seems to work well enough and saves alot of time if you just need a base mesh to work with.  You should be able to import into Sculptris as well.  As far as housing goes maybe you can use it to make a statue or something.

Blender - http://www.blender.org/ -

This is a very robust 3D Modelling, Animation an Game engine program.  This interface is fairly clunky and hard to learn imo but it has a great user base and lots of tutorials.  Considering it is free it is well worth the learning curve.

Art of Illusion - http://www.artofillusion.org/ - I haven't tried this one but it looks promising.

Art of Illusion is a free, open source 3D modelling and rendering studio. Many of its capabilities rival those found in commercial programs. Highlights include subdivision surface based modelling tools, skeleton based animation, and a graphical language for designing procedural textures and materials..

The current version is 2.9.2, released Oct. 21, 2012. This version is both stable and powerful enough to be used for serious, high end animation work.

K-3D - http://www.k-3d.org/downloads - Another one I haven't tried but it looks promising as well.

K-3D is free-as-in-freedom 3D modeling and animation software. It features a plugin-oriented procedural engine for all of its content, making K-3D a very versatile and powerful package. K-3D excels at polygonal modeling, and includes basic tools for NURBS, patches, curves and animation. Give it a try!

Hexagon - http://www.daz3d.com/shop/hexagon-2...wnload-version/ - Thank you Eden for bringing this one to light SMILEY

Hexagon 2.5 is a modeling application that allows artists to create their own 3D objects from scratch using a freehand brush-style set of tools. These freehand brush modeling tools let artists sculpt 3D models by pulling, pushing, pinching, inflating and smoothing the geometry. The speed at which you can create a complete model is astounding. With support for graphics tablets, users can design their own creations with precision and flexibility. Through the new 3D paint and UV-mapping tools, users can quickly apply textures using brushes, imported textures or choose from a large choice of predefined textures.

PAINT AND TEXTURING PROGRAMS:

G.I.M.P - Do a google search for this one because the word G.I.M.P is censored on these forums hehe.  I had to put periods in between the letters so remove those.

- It's not photoshop but hey it's free

G.I.M.P is probably the most feature rich and well known open source Photoshop alternative that will not make you feel broke. Photoshop may be a bit ahead in terms of bleeding edge features, but most of what Photoshop is capable of can be done somehow in G.I.M.P. G.I.M.P is cross platform and supported by a large community. However the G.I.M.P team doesn’t officially provide any Windows binaries. It does however provide a link on it's webpage for a windows install.

This is all I have for now.  If anyone knows of any other useful software please feel free to let me know and I will happily update this.  I hope this helps everyone!

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Old 12-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
Eden_Evergreen

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Also for free modeling programs, there is Hexagon by DAZ (Digital Art Zone) store.

Since that's the one I stumbled into as a free modeling program first, to avoid confusing "an old dog trying to learn a new trick," I'm continuing with it. SMILEY

DAZ forums have fairly roboust support for Hexagon (and a friendly community of artists who are usually inclined to be helpful and encouraging), and the site also has fairly extensive tutorials. More tutorials can be found on YouTube, etc.

Hexagon has been free since February 2012. While there is no guarantee that it will remain free, DAZ has a trend of making their software / programs free periodically. So if it ever stops being free, be patient. Chances are it will become free again.

DAZ artists have said that they use Hexagon to make their human models. Their most recent release is the "young teens 5," or "Julie & Justin," if you're wondering what type of modeling potential Hexagon has.

Note: those models have far too many polygons to be used in-game. They are for DAZ format, convertible to Poser format.

Hexagon can also be used to make far simpler models. Those are just an example of how detailed it is possible to get with this program.

I daresay some of the others linked above are approximately equally capable. This one happens to intrigue me enough that I'm trying to learn it, is all. SMILEY

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Old 12-20-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
Slokia

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Thanks Eden,

I forgot about Hexagon.  I downloaded it the other day to try it out but haven't had time.  If you don't mind I will add it to the list. 

I guess your right about the night sky too SMILEY  I want the black one for my assassin anyways hehe  I can't wait to see your forest green stuff as well!

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:19 AM   #4
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I have worked with Blender, I guess I am a noob at it, but I can model stuff without much difficulty, I have a problem with generating the texture files that SoE requires to be included when submitting an item for consideration.  If I could get some guidance on making those files, that would be most helpful.  I can't find anything in the Help menu or tutorials which tells you how to make the, color, normals & spec files.  I think I know the color one, but I don't know how blender makes the Normal and Spec files.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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Armous wrote:

I have worked with Blender, I guess I am a noob at it, but I can model stuff without much difficulty, I have a problem with generating the texture files that SoE requires to be included when submitting an item for consideration.  If I could get some guidance on making those files, that would be most helpful.  I can't find anything in the Help menu or tutorials which tells you how to make the, color, normals & spec files.  I think I know the color one, but I don't know how blender makes the Normal and Spec files.

It sounds like you need a lesson in UVW mapping and unwrapping. I do not know Blender, but here is link to a tutorial site.

http://www.katsbits.com/tutorials/b...ng-uvw-maps.php

I must assume it works somewhat similar to 3D-Max and in Max it works basically as follows:

You create your object. You put a UVW map over said object. This map is usually a box in shape and you size it to where your object fits into to box. It's best for quality purposes for the box just a pixel or two larger than the object. You then unwrap your object using the UVW editor. What this does is arrange the parts of your object in a way you can paint them in 2-D and then apply it to your 3D object.

When you are done you want it to look something like this http://i388.photobucket.com/albums/...arhammerUVW.jpg

Then you open it in Photoshop or another paint program and paint on top of it. When you are done painting then save the file as a targa with "_c" on the end of the name. Open that targa file do a save as and save it with the same name, but with a "_n" at the end and another with "_s". To generate a normal map(the _n file) in Photoshop you need the NVIDIA filter plug in that you can get fro free from NVIDIA and I assume it's the same for other qualified paint programs. For your specular map aka the _s file you should look online for a tutorial in the paint program that you are using and figure out what works best for you.

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Old 02-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
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"Specular" is just about where you want the resulting item to be more shiny or less shiny.

In a specular map, you want black for anyplace with nearly zero shine, and white is the opposite extreme of *very* glossy.

Specular maps are done in greyscale (all greys, from black to white, and no colors). It's usually best to avoid white, though one can use a moderately light grey in places where more shine is desired without the shine getting excessive.

For example, if you are making something adorned with gold and jewels, you'd want a medium grey where the gold is and maybe a lighter grey where the jewels are.  Leave whatever backing that the gold and jewels are on in the darker range of charcoal grey to black.

Hopefully that overview will help, at least a little.

"Normal" map seems to be about where you want minor relief on the item. If you want something to bump outward, you use the lighter colors. If you want it to be flat or perhaps slightly recessed, you use the darker colors.

So if you want a groove on a sword's blade, you'd use a darker color. If you want a gem to not be flat but instead bump out a bit, you'd use a lighter color.

I haven't found this plug-in that Rollenzekson speaks of, but the method I just described can work as a starting place. Yeah, it takes some experimentation to get it working correctly, but it is possible to do it by hand.

Happy texturing!

PS - what I said above is a starting place, but after getting the lights for bumpy parts and darks for receded parts figured out, then the thing to do is load it into Xnormal (a free program that generates Normal maps).

http://www.xnormal.net/1.aspx

Install and run the program, pick "tools," pick "bump map to normal map" and then right-click to pick your bump map. Right-click the normal side to generate it, then right-click again to copy it to your art editing program. Saving sometimes results in a buggy version, but that's avoidable by copying to your paint program first and then saving.

It may need a few touch-ups, but using the default settings works pretty well. (And /salute to the person who was kind enough to point this out to me!)

Happy Texturing! SMILEY

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Old 02-02-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia...adobe-photoshop

It looks like it's only for Photoshop and Corel

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Old 02-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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Read this for Baking Normal maps and painting normal maps If you are new to normal mapping I suggest reading that entire article to get a solid understanding of what they are, how they work, how you make them, and problems you will run into in creating them.

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Old 02-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #9
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Adding these resources here as well (sorry for the moment of redundancy I'm having today...)

www.3dtotal.com -- Has tutorials for a wide variety of programs both for modeling and texturing at all levels - as well as forums (that are generally an okay place to hang around in, as with any online community)

www.renderosity.com -- various forums for a variety of programs, with a user submitted tutorial area (yeah, a big share of their market is Poser, but they can be a mostly decent resource for those with more of a hobbiest background)

And look - top result from a quick google on making a normal map in g impy g imp

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Old 03-01-2013, 03:25 AM   #10
Cloudrat

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This should be stickied.

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Old 03-01-2013, 03:57 AM   #11
Margaret

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Yes, it should. SMILEY Good stuff.

http://cgcookie.com/ is a really good site for tutorials.  I was totally mystified by Blender until I found their basic tuts.  They also have a Max section, and I think there are some G.I.M.P tuts, too.

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Old 03-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #12
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Another one that many find helpful is UV Mapper at http://www.uvmapper.com/

There are tutorials out and about, or if one has a general familiarity with how such things work it is possible to explore the menus and figure out most of what is needed.

When does one want to use UVmapper? Two situations immediately come to mind.

If one is working with an existing model, but the designing artist did not include a UV map template (or included one that's so small it's difficult to work with), you can generate a copy of that template using UVmapper to "save texture map" in the appropriate dimensions.

- OR -

If you have just created a new model, that model can be loaded into UVmapper utility (and yes, I mean the free version!) and you can manipulate and adjust the UV map to improve it.

After you have adjusted the texture map to your own satisfaction, you can then "save model" (it will rewrite the .obj to include the customized UV map you just made) and then "save texture map" in the appropriate dimensions, and viola! You have the UV map you wanted from your newly created .obj file.

This utility has more flexibility than many 3D modeling programs, which can make it highly useful. And hey, the price is right! SMILEY

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Old 03-15-2013, 02:39 PM   #13
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http://www.guruware.at/main/objio/index.html

This is a free obj export plugin for 3dsmax that I like to use - I've found less problems with meshes than using max's normal obj export/save options.

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